Spotlight: Anchorage Police Chief Dean Hayes
AT A GLANCE
Years in Law Enforcement: 27
Chief of Anchorage Police Department
Law Enforcement Experience:
Post Commander at KSP Post 16, Henderson and KSP Post 5, Campbellsburg; Operations major to the West Troop; Lieutenant Colonel to the Technical Services Division; Lieutenant Colonel to the Director of Operations Division
Education: Associate of Science Degree, University of Kentucky; Bachelor’s Degrees in Criminal Justice and Psychology from University of Alabama; Graduate of the FBI National Academy Class No. 194
DESCRIBE YOUR DEPARTMENT
The Anchorage Police Department is a five-time Kentucky Association of Chiefs of Police accredited department staffed with 10 full-time officers and four full-time dispatchers. We serve the Anchorage community of 2,500 residents and several local businesses. The department’s complement of officers has more than 260 years of law enforcement experience, comprised of officers with experience from many different departments. I have officers who previously worked for the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office, Oldham County Police Department, Jeffersontown Police Department, Shelbyville Police Department, Louisville Metro Police Department and Kentucky State Police. We only hire experienced or retired officers. I have many applicants from other departments who are actively seeking employment with our department.
WHY ARE APPLICANTS DRAWN TO THE ANCHORAGE POLICE DEPARTMENT?
First of all, we have a good pay scale and benefits. Anchorage has a low crime rate and gives officers the ability to become engaged within the community, something I think all departments wish they had the time to do. Probably the biggest draw to Anchorage is working with the residents. In a time throughout the nation where law enforcement often is perceived in a negative light, nothing could be further from the truth in Anchorage. The residents give us their full support and appreciation for our service. Families routinely bring food and cards by the station as a show of respect for the job we do. After a recent officer-involved shooting, residents and businesses had blue ribbons affixed to their mailboxes within two days as a show of support to the officers. Two weeks later, John Schnatter – founder of Papa John’s Pizza – hosted a cookout to honor the police department and Anchorage EMS. Several hundred residents turned out in support.
WHAT IS THE ROLE OF THE POLICE DEPARTMENT IN A SMALL COMMUNITY?
The coined phrase, “community policing,” has been around for years. We actually have the ability to implement the initiative at its core. Our department provides a service to the Anchorage residents that I wish other departments had the time and manpower to do. Our officers conduct security checks on residences when the residents are out of town. We move delivered packages out of sight, to deter possible theft activities. We inspect parked vehicles for valuables left in plain sight. When located, we leave a crime-prevention notice on the windshield. In addition to the basic law enforcement functions provided, we are ingrained in the Anchorage school system. On a daily basis, officers walk the school grounds, attend all school functions including outdoor sports activities. I eat lunch with the kids at the school several days each week. We work hand-in-hand with administrators to improve upon emergency plans and man crosswalks for children walking to and from school.
WHAT WAS THE TRANSITION LIKE FROM KSP TO ANCHORAGE?
Working in the Kentucky State Police is difficult because of the many demands placed upon the agency. It is made worse with understaffed posts and reduced budgets. However, the demand of service and high expectations remain constant. This situation creates a disconnect between the troopers who are trying to adequately perform their jobs and the public feeling that the police are not responsive to their needs. The transition from a state agency to a municipality has been a pleasant change. It is a much slower, methodical pace designed to meet the needs of the Anchorage residents. Because we have adequate manpower and budget, we are quick to respond to service requests and have the time to engage the residents individually to understand their needs. The officers who have worked here several years know the work patterns of the residents, the type of vehicle they drive, cars that belong in the driveway and those that don’t. They even know the names of the kids and dogs.